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The 20 Healthiest Places to Live in South America


Ambergris Caulker, Belize








A move to South America is an exciting notion. This region offers some of the most vibrant cities and beautiful landscapes in the entire world. If you’re looking for a place to settle that will continue to enhance your health and well-being, some important considerations to make are the environment with clean air and sanitary living conditions, access to pure and clean water, plenty of affordable healthy food options, opportunities to get ample exercise, a low criminal activity rate, and a community that offers recreational and entertainment options for boosting the spirits and enhancing mental health Another factor we added was affordable health care that is accessible in the best places to live for a healthy life. After reviewing multiple authority sites on the best places to live, we offer our list of the 20 healthiest places to live in South America.


Cuenca, Ecuador


20. Cuenca, Ecuador


According to International Living, Cuenca is one of the healthiest places to live in all of South America. The city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site with a rich history and its remarkable state of preservation. The food in Cuenca is distinctive but healthy. Residents enjoy beautiful surroundings with friendly and tight-knit communities, friendly people, multiple vibrant festivals, and a way of life that is conducive to good physical and mental health.


Loja, Ecuador


19. Loja, Ecuador


Loja is a clean city that is filled with churches, beautiful parks, and rivers. It’s a smaller town that has the same feeling as a typical midwestern city in the United States. The population is 185,000 residents with a tidy colonial center and multiple shady parks and plazas for walking. The environment is friendly, and the people are kind. Health care is high-quality, accessible, and extremely affordable. There are plenty of markets selling fresh and healthy food options for maintaining a healthy diet.








Cotacachi, Ecuador


18. Cotacachi, Ecuador


Cotacachi is another friendly and affordable city in Ecuador. The city is cultured with top-notch medical facilities and care, and the cost of living in this place is very affordable. This is a healthy place to live for the mind, body, and spirit because of its welcoming atmosphere, clean air, good weather, and rich history. There is plenty to do in Cotacachi to keep you healthy and fit.


Vilcabamba Ecuador


17. Vilcabamba Ecuador


Vilcabamba is a town that is a favorite for adventure travelers and backpackers. The small town is friendly and clean with plenty of fresh air and crystal clear water. The 5,000 feet altitude provides the moderate temperatures that stay in the 70s to 80s year-round. The cost of living is reasonable and there is access to medical care that is also affordable. It’s rated as one of the healthiest and most relaxing places to live in South America.


Salinas, Ecuador


16. Salinas, Ecuador


Salinas is a beach resort town that provides all of the fun in the sand and sun that anyone could ever want. While the city is filled with venues for enjoyable nightlife such as discos, bars, restaurants, and more, it’s a clean place to live with pure air and waters, miles of sandy beaches, and an affordable cost of living. Healthy and nutritious foods are available and anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy lifestyle may do so in Salinas.








Medellin, Colombia


15. Medellin, Colombia


Medellin is a city in Colombia that offers an excellent and affordable healthcare system. The water and air quality are excellent and there are plenty of options for eating healthy and getting your exercise. It’s a sophisticated city with peaceful and tranquil suburbs and a vibrant and rich culture that makes you want to celebrate life. The weather is moderate and the Andes are nearby if you enjoy hiking and backpacking. It’s one of the healthiest places to live in South America.


Manizales, Colombia


14. Manizales, Colombia


Manizales lies to the south of Medellin. It’s a mountain city that has some of the purest air on the planet. The terrain is steep and the city is laid out beautifully with lush green fields of coffee surrounding the metropolitan area. The largest industry is coffee in Manizales. The city has a population of about 450,000 people. Education is top-notch, accessible, and affordable, and so are medical services. The city is modern with cultural festivities held all year long. Living in Manizales is as exciting as you want it to be, and it’s a great place to live for your mental and physical health.


Cartagena, Colombia


13. Cartagena, Colombia


Cartagena is a larger Colombian city of 1 million residents. It’s Colombia’s fifth-biggest city, but it’s also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can still see the influence of Spanish colonialism in architecture and culture. The cobble-stoned streets are remarkably quaint. It’s filled with museums, restaurants, and old colonial buildings that are like stepping back in time. The cost of living is affordable in select neighborhoods. Medical care is also affordable and accessible. You will have ample opportunities to work out and stay in shape just by seeing all of the sights. It’s also a great place to get your hands on healthy foods for low prices. You don’t have to be wealthy to eat well in Cartagena.








Salento, Colombia


12. Salento, Colombia


Salento is a lovely pueblo town in the coffee region of Colombia’s Andes mountains. It’s a small town with just 8,000 residents that enjoys the peace and quiet of a rural town. This is a healthy place to live with good family values and marketplaces that offer fresh and healthy agricultural products. There are plenty of places to walk and hike to get your exercise. The cost of living is low, and it’s not a far drive for quality and affordable medical attention should the need arise.


Santa Marta, Colombia


11. Santa Marta, Colombia


Santa Marta is a coastal city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It’s a destination city that averages daily temperatures between 75 F and 90 F year-round. The warm tropical climate helps to keep your skin soft and hydrated. There are plenty of beach activities o engage in for exercise, fitness, and enjoyment. The beaches are a lovely sparkling white with clean water and air. Life in Santa Marta is relaxing and beautiful.


Barranquilla, Colombia


10. Barranquilla, Colombia


Another healthy city in Colombia is Barranquilla. The population of this large metropolis is 1.2 million. It’s a port city that offers some of the most spectacular beaches in the country. It’s a cultural and educational center that offers all the amenities of a large city with peaceful and quiet neighborhoods to retreat from the hustle and bustle. Quality healthcare options are plentiful and affordable thanks to the low-cost o of living in Barranquilla. It’s a modern city with everything you need to live a happy and prosperous life.








Armenia, Colombia


9. Armenia, Colombia


Armenia is another city that features coffee as its main industry. It’s smaller than most of the other cities on our list, but it offers all o the health benefits that make it one of the healthiest places to live in South America. Armenia has a year-round average temperature of 80 F, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. It’s a haven for adventurers and nature lovers. Medical services are available at all or affordable costs. The cost of living is low in Armenia. It’s a great place to retire for the health-conscious.


Quito, Ecuador


8. Quito, Ecuador


Quito is among the top 10 best places to live in South America for the health-minded. The city is over a mile above sea level offering exceptional air quality. The city is made up of a diverse collection of residents. The environment around the city is natural and breathtaking. The crime rate is also one of the lowest, making it one of South America’s safest cities to live in.


Florianopolis, Brazil


7. Florianopolis, Brazil


Florianopolis is a city in Brazil that has a low crime rate and an exceptional health care system. These are two factors that qualify it for inclusion in our list of healthiest places to live in South America. Pollution is less here than in most other cities of its size, and there is little traffic congestion. It’s a beach town that offers ample opportunities to get out and enjoy the benefits of nature.


Buenos Aires, Argentina


6. Buenos Aires, Argentina


Buenos Aires is one of the most popular destination cities in all of Argentina. It’s also one of the friendliest and healthiest places to live. The climate is hot and humid most o the time, and there are plenty of places to getaway just outside of the city limit. The cost of living is highly affordable and there are top-notch medical providers in the city.


Arequipa, Peru


5. Arequipa, Peru


Arequipa is a Peruvian city that provides residents with a carefree lifestyle that is conducive to good mental health. There isn’t a lot of congestion in the city because of its lower population density. The air is clean and the healthcare is good in the city. There is plenty to do if you enjoy mountain climbing biking or hiking. It’s ideal for the health-conscious who enjoy year-round outdoor activities.


Antigua, Guatemala


4. Antigua, Guatemala


Antigua is one of the healthiest cities in Guatemala. The city has a rich history with lovely surroundings. The cost of living is lower by some 30% compared to North America. Healthcare is awesome and accessible and there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy. The landscape is breathtaking and offers plenty of activities for adventurers.


Cusco, Peru


3. Cusco, Peru


Cusco is a Peruvian city that has a quaint aesthetic with cobblestone streets and colonial buildings. There are plenty of modern amenities, but there is also a strong sense of tradition along with neighborhoods that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The air is clean in Cusco, and living there is affordable. You’ll find quality healthcare that is accessible and lots of healthy foods to choose from. There are plenty of places to walk and hike outside of the city limits.


Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica


2. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica


The Nicoya Peninsula is known for its fresh air and beautiful beaches. Although the city offers more modern infrastructure, it also provides great medical care that doesn’t cost much to obtain. There are places to ride a bike, go for a walk, or go hiking in the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s a safe place to live with friendly locals who enjoy the benefits of a larger city with places to get away from the busy atmosphere. The cost of living is low and the environment is good for your body, mind, and spirit. The Nicoya Peninsula offers you the best of both worlds if you’re someone who enjoys living well and living healthy.


Ambergris Caulker, Belize


1. Ambergris Caulker, Belize


We round out of the list of the 20 healthiest places to live in South America with Ambergris Caulker, Belize. Belize is one of the most beautiful counties in South America. This is a smaller country that was once used as a British Colony. The influences of these times can still be seen in the culture and the architecture of the buildings. Ambergris is an island city that separates it from the rest of the country. The total population of Ambergris is only 20,000 residents. It’s a smaller city that is peaceful and tranquil unless you choose to go out and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the evenings. English is the language that is spoken in Ambergris Caulker, Belize. The healthcare system in this small city is rated as excellent, and the cost of living is affordable. Most residents enjoy walking to the beach to enjoy an evening in the temperate climate. This small city is filled with friendly people who enjoy a relaxed lifestyle. There is plenty of entertainment and recreational options for such a small town. It’s mostly self-contained as an island city, and living here is like experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth.





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